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Penn State: Timeline, Scope for Beaver Stadium Renovation Project Stage 1 Revealed

Penn State Football: Beaver Stadium
Jarrod Prugar

The timeline and scope for the Beaver Stadium renovation project came out at Thursday’s Penn State Board of Trustees meeting. 

Phase one of the renovation got approved by the BoT at Thursday’s meeting, and the entire proposal will be voted on Friday.

Here’s the timeline

  • June 2023: AE Selection, design start
  • June 2024: Pre-construction 
  • January 2025: Construction begins 
  • August 2027: Construction ends

Here’s the scope.

  • Penn State is working with the Nations Group on a project scope and financing plan.
  • The stadium’s west side will be completely renovated, and there will be amenity upgrades throughout the stadium. These upgrades will include better broadcasting access, significantly better circulation, new restrooms, improved concussion stand options and premium seating. 
  • Upgrades to the east side of the stadium’s vertical circulation that address improving accessibility and refresh the east side’s suites
  • Additions to restrooms and concessions on the north and east sides

More than two months after word got out that Penn State planned to upgrade Beaver Stadium significantly, the school revealed some specifics for exactly how the school hopes to improve the place.

Nate Bauer of Blue-White Illustrated reported first reported this Thursday, April 20.

The renovation could cost as much as $700 million, and more discussions will occur at Friday’s BoT meeting. 

Bauer wrote in late April that the renovation would emphasize Beaver Stadium’s west side and demolish the stands and press box. Penn State would replace the stands and press box with lower-level seats with expanded chair backs and “luxury amenities, suites and loge boxes.” This will also include seating for media and amenities for the press. Bauer wrote that the project would also improve other parts of the stadium, including expansion of the concourses and better options allowing fans to move around the stadium more comfortably.

Bauer reported that additional estimates of how much the plan would total $1.2 billion for the entire stadium and $1.5 billion for a site that would have been adjacent to where Beaver Stadium currently is. Penn State turned down both options due to the steep cost.

For things to happen, the Board of Trustees must approve the plan and then put out a bid.

Beaver Stadium has been Penn State’s home since 1960. Over the past six-plus decades, its housed two national championship teams, five undefeated squads and four Big Ten champions. Despite the stadium’s history and reputation for having one of college football’s best atmospheres, the venue could be better. Penn State fans have had their share of complaints about the stadium. Fans have brought up poor internet connection, bathrooms that they feel are nasty and cramped seating. 

Penn State athletic director Pat Kraft has openly stated that he hopes Beaver Stadium will be used for more events besides Penn State football games.

“That building should be used more than seven days (a year), in my opinion,” Kraft said at Big Ten Media Days last July. “And we have to find ways to do that. We’ve got to provide ourselves the opportunity to really generate more revenue off of it.”

University President Dr. Neeli Bendapudi said in a statement when the renovation idea first came out in February that “after extensive research and consultation, renovation for Beaver Stadium is the direction we walk to take as it is far more economical than a new build.”

Additionally, Bendapudi said none of the project would be “funded by tuition, student fees, or any of our educational budget.”

“I know there is a lot of interest in this project,” she said, “and we are still at the beginning of a multi-year journey, which still must include proposal review and approval by the board of trustees. Athletics also will need to put the project out for bid.”

Bendapudi said Penn State’s fans are “some of the most dedicated and loyal in the world” and “deserve a facility that has upgrades, amenities and improved circulation around the facility to enhance the fan experience.”

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